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Nothing is better (or easier) than this Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole. Kind of like broccoli cheddar soup meets cozy weeknight casserole. It’s healthy…ish, so darn easy, and so darn delicious. The best part…it’s made entirely in one pot and in under an hour. Grab some chicken, rice, orzo pasta, plenty of herbs, and all the broccoli you can snag. Cook everything together on the stove, add sharp cheddar cheese, and finish off in the oven to melt the cheese. Simple, but SO GOOD. The perfect weeknight casserole!

overhead photo of Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole with serving spoon in casserole dish and portion of the rice removed from dish

It’s not even September yet and I am already throwing the casseroles at you guys. Yes, it’s true. I’m ready to switch things up. I’m ready for a bit of cozy, and well, I really just hope you all are ready too.

In all seriousness, this really is a perfect recipe for this time of year. The kids are all heading back to school, everyone is slowly coming back from summer vacations, and life is getting busy. Sure, it’s still hot out, but I’m feeling the autumn shift slowly creeping its way in. And with that comes dinner inspiration from my childhood. End of summer and back to school signals the part of my brain that has me thinking easy family dinners, midwest style.

I’m talking casseroles, tacos, slow cooker dinner, and soon enough, soups. Anyone else feel the same or what? It can’t just be me…

side angled photo of chicken and rice in skillet on the stove before adding liquid

Growing up, broccoli cheddar anything was my favorite, but especially the broccoli cheddar soup from Panera bread. My other favorite? My dad’s rice bakes, which he’d make simple with so much broccoli and so much cheddar cheese. They were simple and delicious and I was so into them.

I got to thinking about combining the two together, and just like that, this recipe was formed. It’s not anything crazy creative, but I can assure you, it’s crazy delicious.

Like I said above, kind of like broccoli cheddar soup meets cozy rice casserole. And it’s is GOOD. Not nearly as soupy as soup, but not as heavy as a casserole. It’s got the perfect balance.

overhead photo of Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole

It all starts and ends in ONE pot. Or two if you’re like me and decide you want to bake this in a real casserole dish for the “real deal” midwest style casserole situation. I really love setting the mood.

Anyway, start with the basics. Cook your onion, add the chicken, give the chicken some time sear. Then add a touch of butter, some rice, orzo, and fresh thyme. Cook until you’ve got a nice toasty smell going, now add the broth, broccoli, and a few more seasonings. Cover and cook just like you would a normal pot of rice. Once this is finished cooking, stir in just a touch of milk for creaminess (swap in non-dairy milk, if needed), and lemon zest for a pop of freshness.

Top with cheddar cheese and bake until the cheese is melty and the broccoli on top has a little char. Finish with fresh thyme and basil from the garden and dinner is served. Easy, right?

overhead photo of Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole with spoon in casserole dish

But yet so very good. The rice underneath stays soft and creamy while the cheese on top browns. The corners of the dish will form an insanely delicious, cheesy crust. Every bite is flavor and roll your eyes back good.

If you prefer to go the vegetarian route, simply omit the chicken from the dish. It’s truly just as delicious without or without, so do what works best for you and your family.

overhead close up photo of Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole with serving spoon in casserole dish

This dish brings back all the best memories from when I was a kid, huddled around the kitchen counter, eating chicken noodle casserole with my brothers. Of course, this is a much healthier dinner option, with so much more color than mom’s (super old school) chicken noodle casserole. But all the nostalgia is still there.

And no offense to my mom or dad, but personally I love my vegetable-filled casserole a bit more than their old school version. Sometimes you have to upgrade the classics a bit, you know?

Make this one for family and friends, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love it.

overhead photo of Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole in single serving dish with fork in dish

If you make this broccoli cheddar chicken and rice casserole, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Watch The How To Video:

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 542 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrot and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is seared, 2-3 minutes. Add the butter, rice, orzo, and thyme, and cook until golden and toasted, 2-3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli, bay leaves, garlic powder, cayenne, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook, covered for 20-25 minutes, until the rice is mostly cooked.
    3. Once the rice is cooked, stir in the lemon zest, milk, and 1/2 cup of cheese. If needed, transfer the rice to an oven-safe casserole dish. Scatter the remaining cheese over top the casserole. 
    4. Transfer to the oven and bake 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and just beginning to brown. Serve warm with additional thyme and fresh basil. 


To Make Ahead: Prepare the casserole through step 3. Let cool, then cover and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. To bake, remove from the fridge and let sit at room temp while the oven preheats. Bake as directed. 
To Freeze: Prepare the casserole through step 3. Let cool, then cover tightly. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter for 2-3 hours. Bake as directed. 
Gluten Free Orzo: I love DeLallo brand gluten free orzo

overhead horizontal photo of Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole with spoon in casserole dish

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  1. Could this be made in a pressure cooker? I would cook the rice and veggies in the pressure cooker and maybe cook the chicken separate. Please let me know!

    1. Hi Miranda,
      So sorry, I’ve never tried this in the instant pot so I am unsure of the results. Please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  2. 4 stars
    This is a really amazing weeknight meal to make that produces leftovers for all week long! (For two people). These are my favorite kinds of recipes for the week. I didn’t change a thing and this turned out wonderfully.

    1. Hey Katie,
      Wonderful!! Thanks a lot for making this recipe, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed. Have a great Saturday! xTieghan

  3. 4 stars
    This recipe is full of flavor and has a delicious, creamy texture…with a few modifications. I followed advice from other reviewers and cut the simmering time to 10 minutes, then added the lemon, coconut milk, and cheese, and put it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes. Any longer and the broccoli would have been mush. I also increased the liquid to 4 cups of broth and 1 cup of milk. By doing this the texture was perfectly moist! Not a requirement but I also added curry powder and it took it to another level. Highly recommend this one!

    1. Hey Sarah,
      Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Have the best day! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    This came out really good! I only made two changes: 1. Used heavy cream instead of whole milk (what I had on hand) and 2. Broiled for a few minutes at the end to melt the cheese instead of baking. I think that was key to keeping it creamy and not dry! This dish is great for using up veggies.

  5. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! I took other people’s suggestions and 1) only cooked on the stovetop for approx. 15 minutes (instead of 20 – 25 minutes) and 2) added the broccoli with the milk and cheese. Everything turned out great and nothing was too dry or mushy. It was delicious.

  6. 4 stars
    Tieghan – I am such a hardcore fan and have been a loyal follower from the very beginning! I love all of your recipes and have tried a TON of your recipes on the daily and own both of your cookbooks. I’ve tried making this recipe twice and while I must say – the flavor is AMAZING I think the rice absorbs SO MUCH liquid. I’ve tried adding more and the rice sucks it up completely. I would love to see a modified recipe version like a “modern chicken divan” where the rice is separate from the chicken, broccoli, cheese! Even a staub on the stove with rice on the side???? Just throwing it out there! XOXO

    1. Hey there! Thank you so much for letting me know, I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, and I really appreciate the feedback! xxTieghan

    1. Hi Karissa! I haven’t tried this recipe with instant rice so I’m not sure, but I don’t see why I wouldn’t work! 🙂 xTieghan

  7. 4 stars
    Tried this dish last night. Glad I read other reviews so I also waited to put the broccoli in which was good. Noticed as the rice was cooking that it absorbed all the liquid and was already dry before that cooking time was even up. So I added the rest of the chicken broth into the dish. It turned out not to be enough though…..was dry when I served it. People did like it, and I agree it was good, but was perplexed why I couldn’t taste all the little things others mentioned (cayenne, lemon zest, etc). All I could discern was the thyme. If I make it again I will increase liquid for sure – probably add another 1/4-1/2 cup of milk, and possibly some white wine as I think that would compliment this nicely. Also think I would prefer shredded rotisserie chicken as mine got a little dried out. It is a nice comfort food type of dish.

    1. Hi Cheryl, thanks so much for trying out this recipe and giving some feedback! I really appreciate it! xTieghan

  8. 4 stars
    Good recipe but does need some tweaking as mentioned in other reviews.
    But primary reason for my review is to say….heads up, the prep time is much longer than 15 min unless you have a sous chef to do all of the chopping for you.

  9. 5 stars
    I made this last night for a Mealtrain dinner and double it so we could have dinner too! I ended up combining the Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole with the One Skillet Cheese Broccoli Cheddar Orzo Bake as, I like the mushrooms and white wine idea. It turned out great, it is not your Grandma’s Broccoli Chicken and Rice Casserole, it has definitely sophisticated the dish!

  10. 5 stars
    We had a chicken broccoli cheese casserole growing up called chicken divan. Oh the horrors, it had mayo and cream of mushroom soup, and was served at dinner parties, yikes! This dish is so cozy,delicious, and I loved the little spicy kick. My man went back for seconds and wished he could have 3rds. It’ll be on repeat for sure.

  11. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! The lemon zest adds a really nice flavor. I will definitely be making this again. It’s the perfect comfort food dinner.

  12. 5 stars
    This was delicious! My 14 month old couldn’t shovel it into her mouth fast enough. My husband loved it and definitely wants it on rotation! It was the perfect combination of flavors and I love how it’s dinner in one pot, all food groups included!

    1. Hey Missy,
      Fantastic!! So great to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and thanks a lot for making it. Have a great week!🍂 xTieghan

  13. I have leftover rotisserie chicken that I would like to use. Do you have recommendations how I would change up the preparation in order to use this or would it not work out as well?

    1. Hey Kathryn,
      You would just want to add the chicken to the bake, so in step 3 would be best. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Brenna,
      Happy Friday!! I so appreciate you giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

  14. 4 stars
    Great recipe! I made it less healthy by doubling the butter & cheese and also added fresh garlic while veggies were cooking. Based on other reviews
    1. I waited & threw the broccoli in after the rice mixture had been simmering 10 minutes
    2. Reduced cooking time for chicken to 2 mins & overall simmer time no more than 20

    Serious comfort food, could not stop eating it!

    1. Hey Corey,
      Happy Friday!! I so appreciate you giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Thanks for sharing what worked well for you. xTieghan

    1. Hey Lindsey,
      I hope you love the recipe, yes you can also use brown rice. Please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  15. 3 stars
    This recipe is a great idea but needs to be tweaked; the chicken, broccoli and orzo cooks for way way way too long if you make it as written. Mushy broccoli and dry chicken ruin this unfortunately.

  16. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe. It was my first one I’ve made since signing up last week! I’ll definitely be making it again and trying more. Thank you for posting 💗

  17. 4 stars
    Did try the recipe and it was just fine with Brown Basmati Rice and it did not increase the cooking time. Thanks for answering my question about it.

  18. 5 stars
    Soo yummy! I used sharp white cheddar and it was delicious. The chicken got a tad dried out but the husband loved it. 🙂

  19. 5 stars
    Wonderful dish. We really notice and like the lemon! A perfect all-in-one casserole to take to friends who need a meal.

    1. Hey Laurie,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

  20. 4 stars
    Really great recipe. Good crowd pleaser for Labor Day. We served tri-tip and ribs on the side. Because we already had a few meat dishes, I subbed potatoes for the chicken. Next time, I want to try adding spinach; not sure why, it just sounds good. Best to eat fresh out of oven while the cheese is creamy though. I left ours on warm in the oven (while waiting for guests to arrive) for over an hour and the cheese became hard and dried. 🙁 It was still good though.

  21. Would like to make this recipe using brown basmati rice. How do I adjust the cooking time? Should I precook the rice in a rice cooker and add toward the end?

  22. Hi, i made the casserole last night and loved it. Although I’m realizing i have too much and want to freeze it. Is it too late to freeze if I’ve already gone through the whole recipe?

    1. Hey Adelaide,
      Awesome! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and appreciate you giving it a go! You could freeze this, I think it would be okay. Have a wonderful week:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Robin,
      Awesome! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and appreciate you giving it a go! Have a wonderful week:) xTieghan

  23. Hi Tieghan,
    Will make the recipe this coming week. Looks and sounds delicious. What size of dish/pan do you suggest I use.
    Many thanks for all your recipes. Happy Birthday to adorable Asher !
    Delicious wishes From Canada.
    Yvonne Adams

    1. Hey Yvonne,
      I used a 9×13 baking dish. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Mary,
      I would keep the recipe as is minus the chicken:) I hope the recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Mary,
      Sure, totally fine to skip the chicken here. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  24. 4 stars
    Made this tonight and it was delicious. Love the combo of rice and orzo pasta. My chicken was a little overcooked, but that was totally my fault. Thanks for another winner, winner chicken dinner 🙂

    1. Hey Sharon,
      Awesome! I am delighted to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it. Have the best week! xTieghan

    1. Hey Gina,
      Fantastic! I am thrilled that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a go! xTieghan

    1. Hey Anthony,
      Wonderful! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed. Thanks a bunch for giving it a try! xTieghan

  25. I think I just ‘got it’. Some people have those pots that can go in the oven. So sorry to waste your time.

        1. Hey Bea,
          It’s to melt the cheese and warm everything through:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  26. Hi there, I was wondering what you mean in step 3 ‘if needed’. Could you please clarify? I mean do we not have to put it a casserole dish? Maybe I am missing something?

    1. Hey Cris,
      If you are already using an oven safe dish for steps 1 and 2, then you would not need to transfer to another oven safe dish. I hope this makes sense. xTieghan

  27. I’ve made this twice and it’s going in our regular rotation. I love that it makes a huge amount. My tip is to add the broccoli after the rice is done, when you’re adding the milk. That way the broccoli stays a bit crisp and doesn’t get mushy. I also use a mix of cheddar and feta for the cheese.

  28. 5 stars
    We are *NOT* casserole people. Or I should say, I am, but no one else is in my family…I thought I’d dip my toe back into casserole territory with this dish, and I’m pleased to say It had a positive reception. I am, myself, looking forward to lunch leftovers. Only note is that I would go 18 min for rice/orzo prior to baking so it didn’t get overly mushy after oven browning for the 15ish min.

  29. 5 stars
    This is literally THE BEST casserole I have ever had in my life. I used to HATE HATE HATE this dish as. kid because it wasn’t made this way. I can’t help but think about all the years I was missing out, had I known about this recipe. The fresh thyme and lemon zest take this dish to a whole new level. I have made it several times and there are never leftovers. Thank you so much for the recipe, and please do more casseroles!

    1. Hey Maria,
      I am absolutely delighted that you enjoyed the recipe, thanks for making it! Have the best week☀️ xTieghan

  30. Hi, I’m hoping to make this both for dinner that night as well as to freeze a bunch for later. Would you recommend baking it all at once, then just freezing leftovers and reheating in microwave or oven later, or should I try portioning it out before baking and only baking the portion for that night?

    Also, if I portion it into smaller amounts, does that change the baking time at all? (like maybe loaf pan size). Thanks!

    1. Hey Jess,
      Yes, I would bake and then freeze and reheat. Yes, you will want to watch the smaller portions in the oven and reduce the baking time accordingly. I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  31. 5 stars
    I absolutely loved this recipe! I followed it pretty much to the tee, with the exception of some extra cheese on top, and it was fantastic! Perfect for a cold night in Colorado. It’s also really great heated up up as well with a splash of milk. I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers the rest of this week and trying more HBH recipes!

  32. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe at least 10 times during this year of lockdown. It never fails to comfort and it makes the whole house smell delicious. Thanks!

  33. 4 stars
    I came across this recipe while looking for some easy meal prep for the week, and I wasn’t disappointed. I paired it with a salad, and it made a really excellent and low-fuss lunch. Plus, because it’s a really easy recipe, it was simple to make a few personal tweaks to the recipe the second time I made it. I added some garlic cloves, oregano, more lemon zest, and mixed in some monterey jack with the cheddar. I also seasoned the chicken with the salt and pepper before putting in the pot, and it was scrumptious. Looking forward to scrolling through the HBH archives for more recipes.

  34. 5 stars
    Such a good recipe!! The seasoning was delicious, and my husband also loved it. I substituted whole milk for almond milk and used low fat cheddar cheese, which turned out good. I will definitely use a higher fat cheese to melt on top next time since low fat doesn’t get as gooey.

  35. 5 stars
    Delish! The kids loved it too. The addition of the cayenne made this much more interesting than a typical casserole. This recipe makes a lot, even with teenage boys in the house – I’ve been enjoying the leftovers for lunch 😉

    1. Hey Katie,
      Thanks so much for trying out this recipe, I am thrilled that you liked it! I hope you have a great week:) xTieghan

  36. 5 stars
    Made this tonight as written! Incredible!! So easy & so yummy- so nice to have a comfort casserole that doesn’t require condensed soup!😍

    1. Hey Rhonda,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a go, I am thrilled that it was enjoyed! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  37. 2 stars
    Really enjoy half baked harvest but this recipe lacked in flavor, and i followed it completely. It needed way more seasonings.

    1. Hey Leah,
      I’ve not tested this with cauliflower rice, but it might work well! Let me know how it turns out! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  38. 5 stars
    I made it according to the directions except for adding more cayenne pepper than called for. Next time, though, I would leave out the lemon zest, or slice it very thinly (which I didn’t do), and I’d also put it in a separate casserole greased with vegetable spray before putting it in the oven. It wasn’t moist enough to cook it for 20 more minutes in my Dutch oven, so cleaning it afterwards was a real chore. In the end, it was delicious, and I’d definitely make it again.

  39. 5 stars
    Oh boy,…this one was hard to stop eating! It’s definitely a family pleaser. Love the addition of broccoli and carrots to amp the healthy in this dish. Make it!

    1. Hey there,
      I am thrilled that you enjoyed the recipe, thanks so much for giving it a try! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  40. 5 stars
    Excellent, used all rice instead of orzo. Also didn’t realize I was out of carrots but it came out awesome. Will definitely make this one again. It seems like a lot of liquid in the pot but once I put it in the 9×13 and it baked it came out perfect. Flavors were great, the lemon zest was a wonderful taste in the casserole.

  41. 5 stars
    One of my favorite HBH recipes. So comforting and delicious. It also freezes and reheats well so it’s a great dish to make for someone.

  42. WOW!!! What a super easy and SUPER tasty meal! Makes a ton so great for meal prep, feeding a family, or having guests over!

    1. Hey Alyssa,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am so glad it worked out for you! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  43. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and it was so delicious! Perfect cozy meal on a chilly evening. The melted, slightly crispy cheese on top is so good. The only thing I think I’d do differently next time is add in fresh minced garlic with the onion and carrots but I’m a big fan of garlic.

  44. Hi, I’m making this tonight but I already have leftover cubed chicken (already cooked). Could I just add it in at the end before it goes in the oven?

    1. Hey Chloe,
      Sure that would work! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

    1. Hey Kat,
      No you should be fine:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  45. Hi Tieghan!!! I love all your recipes. This looks delicious and cozy. Thoughts on substituting the basmati and orzo for two cups of Arborio rice? We have some on hand. Thanks!!

    1. Hey Amanda,
      The arborio rice would work well! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  46. This was delicious. I did everything in my dutch oven, only change was I used half the Cheddar cheese stirred in with milk and the other of half of the cheese on top before popping in the oven for 15 min, We’re looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow

    1. Hi Victoria! I am really glad this recipe turned out so well for you! Thank you for trying it! I hope the leftovers are just as amazing! xTieghan

  47. Do you think it would be possible to bake this at a lower temperature for a longer time? My daughter has dairy protein allergy but she eat milk and cheese if it has been baked for over 30 min at 350 or higher. Thanks!

    1. Hey Kaity,
      Sure that could work! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  48. Omg!! ThIs came out sooo good and delish! Thank you for this recipe. The weather has gotten colder in Oklahoma and this was perfect for a chilly weeknight meal and Netlfix! The fresh herbs and lemon zest really helped balance all the flavors together wonderfully. This dish truly warms the soul and beings happiness to the heart.

    1. Hey Devin,
      Thanks so much for trying the recipe! I would cover with foil and reheat in the oven on low. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  49. 5 stars
    I made this yesterday, and it is a keeper! The only small changes I made were using fresh garlic which I sautéed with the onion and carrot, and adding a big of fresh chopped parsley because I had some that needed to be used up. Thanks, Tieghan, for the best food porn pics that are for recipes that also turn out delicious! Up this week: Crispy prosciutto white lasagna!

    1. I am so happy this turned out so well for you, Kerry! Thank you! I hope you love the crispy prosciutto white lasagna!! xTieghan

    1. Hey Kaylee,
      Frozen broccoli would work, you can just follow the recipe as is. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Melanie,
      Yes totally fine to do! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  50. 5 stars
    Saw this included in the fall recipe collection and made it tonight- super easy and delicious! For two people, this recipe made enough for multiple days of leftovers. Would consider halving it next time depending on how many leftovers I wanted.

  51. This is one of my absolute favorite recipes. SO good, so easy. It’s in our regular dinner rotation now, we’ve made it several times.

  52. 5 stars
    I doubled the recipe to give one casserole to my sick Aunt, and to keep one for my husband and I to keep. The recipe came out great, and my Aunt called me raving about it. The only thing I did different was to use thighs instead of breasts, and to season the chicken with Lawry’s Seasoning salt before cooking. Excellent recipe, will make again!

  53. 5 stars
    This looks amazing and I’m excited to try it! This is probably an obvious question, but I don’t cook with rice much.. is it 1.5 cups of dry basmalti rice, or cooked? I assumed dry but since it specifies that the orzo is dry I’m doubting myself. Thanks!

    1. Hey Jenny,
      You will want to use 1.5 cups of dry rice. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  54. 4 stars
    Really good and easy! I found the chicken to be a little dry and would be interested to try it with some different proteins. But overall a yummy and pretty quick dinner recipe.

  55. 5 stars
    I made this recipe over labor day weekend and it was INCREDIBLE!! It makes enough to feed a crowd and I can’t wait to make it again!

    1. Hey Katrina,
      Yes frozen broccoli is okay to use! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  56. 5 stars
    Thanks for the cheesy and comforting recipe! I probably shouldn’t have made it during one of the hottest weeks of the summer for us, but it was still so good!

  57. Excellent recipe!! Third one I have tried from Halfbakedharvest. I am a fan! The chefs running this website know what they are doing! 🌟👍🏻 🥇

    1. Thank you so much Lisa!! I am really happy you have been loving my recipes! And its just me creating them haha xTieghan

  58. 5 stars
    Hello! This looks amazing!!! Was wondering, would the recipe work with 2% milk and wild rice? No worries if not!!! It looks so scrumptious!!!

    1. Hey Jessica,
      Yes both of those will work. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Lauren,
      Yes that is correct:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Ashley,
      You can just omit the orzo and reduce your broth to 3 cups. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  59. 5 stars
    This recipe was amazing (as always). I’ve never had a recipe of yours that wasn’t absolutely delicious. This recipe is also quite riffable–we didn’t have carrots, but we had a bunch of mushrooms. I also added kale, doubled the chicken, and added panko crumbs on top of the cheese (which really took it over the top). It was the perfect recipe, especially because we were also craving a cozy meal, despite the heat. Thank you so much!!!

  60. This was very good, but I thought it needed some more oomph so I put in 1/3 c of Parmesan Reggiano.

  61. 5 stars
    I made this last night, and it was excellent! The lemon zest really gave it a light kick that I loved. It was easy to make on a weeknight after a long work day and very tasty! Thanks for another great recipe!

  62. This may be a stupid question but should we be pulling the bay leaves out at some point? Or do we keep them in the whole time and eat around them??

    1. Hey Meredith,
      You can pull the bay leaves out before step 4 or just eat around them. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  63. Can’t wait to make but quick question. You say if needed, transfer to baking dish. Is the alternative keeping it in whatever pot you used on the stovetop and place that in the oven? I do like the idea of not using another dish. Thank you!

    1. Hi Kate,
      I like to transfer mine to a lasagna dish to spread out the dish more. If you watch the video above you will see what I mean:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  64. 5 stars
    This was delicious. We had chicken and brocolli in the frig and what to do with them? Searched your site and came up with this recipe. It was perfect. Even on a hot day in June. Thanks, Tieghan. You scored again.

  65. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite dishes. Great to feed company, or freeze half for later. I used the herbed rotisserie chicken from the HBH super simple cookbook and it was even better!

  66. 5 stars
    Just made this today and the only difference was used medium grain rice instead of basmati it jasmine since that’s what we had on hand. It turned out perfectly! Love the cayenne and lemon zest addition! My husband loved it as well.

  67. 5 stars
    This is delicious! Definitely add the lemon zest and cayenne pepper, it add that extra layer of deliciousness.
    Has been added to my usual rotation of meals!

  68. 5 stars
    LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! My family of 5 ate every last bite! I used chicken thighs that I prepared ahead a time. I cooked the thighs in the oven them with butter, olive oil, lemon, fresh thyme and parsley. It was amazing!

  69. 5 stars
    I made this for my family of 6 last night. Oh my gosh! They LOVED it. They devoured it. There was enough for 3 people to have seconds. I basically followed the recipe exactly. I did have to use gluten free orzo because that was all they had at the grocery store. I was surprised my husband picked up the lemon notes and I loved the bite of the cayenne pepper. I used the full amount. I love that this was all cooked together in one pot before the oven. I got serious flack for not making 2!! Definitely a keeper

    1. Wow that is so amazing!! I am really glad this turned out so well for you all, Rosanne! I hope you continue to enjoy other recipes of mine as well! xTieghan

    1. Hi Deepthi,
      You can use another herb that you enjoy! I hope you love recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hi Asha,
      Yes you can definitely use Arborio rice. I hope you love recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  70. 5 stars
    Made this tonight as we are “Isolated” during the Covid 19 pandemic. Sooo delicious and the perfect comfort food. Had all of the ingredients beside the fresh herbs and whole milk. Used dry herbs and 1% milk and it is delicious….and LOTS of food. Love it!!

  71. 5 stars
    This has become a family favorite in my house. It is the comforting cousin to Chicken Divan without all the weird “Cream of” soup! Its an easy healthy way to get a well rounded meal. I will sometimes cut the rice and double the veggies and chicken to really amp up the protein. LOVE this one. An easy make ahead option as well! Always better the next day…

    1. Haha you are so right! And honestly leftovers are always the best!! I am so glad you enjoyed this one, Alex! Thank you so much! xTieghan

  72. Can you use 90 second Jasmine Rice? I couldn’t find any bags of Jasmine in the stores except that? Do I cook it the same as if weren’t instant?

    1. Hi Siobhan,
      I would not recommend using a fast cooking/instant rice. Jasmine, basmati, or white rice are going to give you the best results. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  73. 5 stars
    I made this tonight (1/2 recipe) with some left over cooked chicken breast – it is very tasty! I like the little “zing” of the cayenne and tartness of the lemon peel. I love the rice and orzo combination. I do have to say that half the recipe is enough to serve four people, though.

  74. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. Already had all the ingredients. Made it for my neighbor tonight sans chicken, and added some zucchini to the broccoli and carrots since I had it. I had only basmati rice and no orzo. It was so yummy on a cold night in the mountains. Would make again. Thank you!

    1. HI! Yes, that will be great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  75. 5 stars
    Just made this tonight, and it’s very good! My husband also enjoyed it, and we agreed it’s being saved in the recipe binder! We love how “clean” it tastes. Hearty but not heavy. Thanks for sharing!

  76. 5 stars
    This was excellent ! My 18 year old and 15 year old daughter loved it… served it with Pillsbury Crescent rolls for a quick meal! Fantastic !

  77. 5 stars
    Ummm, this was fantastic! I didn’t have any lemons so I omitted the lemon zest, but followed the recipe exactly aside from that. This was perfect for a cold winter night when I was craving some comfort food! I’m embarrassed to admit it, but this tasted just like the packets of Knorr’s chicken flavored rice that I used to buy from the store (and loved). Thanks for this yummy and much healthier version of an old favorite. I can’t wait to try some more of your casserole recipes!

    1. Hey Alicia! No modifications. Frozen broccoli will work great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  78. 5 stars
    This was insanely good!! The flavours are all there and worth the effort of using the lemon zest & fresh herbs. I didn’t have orzo so I used two cups of rice instead. Will be making this again, 100%!

  79. 5 stars
    Made this tonight. The lemon zest adds a nice touch and was absolutely delicious. Followed to a T came out perfect! I have also made your banana chai muffins, north pole cake and coconut braised chicken. Slowly working my way though! Everything I have tried of yours has turned out beautifully. Keep up the good work!!

    1. Thank you so much Becky! I am so glad this and others have turned out so well for you! Thank you so much! xTieghan

    1. Hi Samantha! Just omit the broth and instead stir in the cauliflower rice. I think that should work well. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  80. 5 stars
    This was perfect for a fall day! I used rotisserie chicken instead and wilted in some baby spinach along with the milk/cheese. Easy and Delicious!! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  81. 5 stars
    I’ve made this twice and it is incredibly good!! I actually add 1 teaspoon curry powder to this recipe though. My 12 year old even loves it!! So flavorful and yummy!

  82. 5 stars
    Made this dish tonight and my whole family loved it. Used coconut milk and it was perfect! Can’t wait to make it again when my son comes home from college. Thank you!!

  83. 5 stars
    Yum! Mostly followed recipe! Used 2 cups long grain brown rice, no orzo, 4 cups broth, 40 minutes to cook rice, used my braiser for one pan cook top to oven to serve, also used 1/2 cup coconut almond milk. Perfect ?

  84. 5 stars
    This looks like a great recipe for a crowd… have you ever cooked this in a crock pot and if so, how long do you cook it for?

    1. HI! I have never cooked this in the crockpot, but if you would like to try I would recommend 3-4 hours on low. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  85. 5 stars
    Wow!! I was looking for a recipe that I could use with ingredients I had in my fridge…broccoli, carrots cheddar cheese, and chicken.
    I made this tonight and both my husband and I loved it! So delicious and without any canned soup! This is a keeper. The only modification I made was to use French’s fried onion rings on top for the last 5 minutes because we love the crunchy taste.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. It will go in my “repeat recipe” book for sure!!!

  86. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was great! Flavors reminded us of chicken pot pie/noodle soup. I made it all in a Dutch oven and used chicken thighs instead. Will add it to our go-to recipes and dishes for potlucks!

  87. 5 stars
    This was incredible! And SO easy! This was the perfect “healthyish” take on my bf’s favorite childhood meal. Thank you so much for this awesome recipe!

    1. Hey Emily! I am sure wild rice will be so great! Just add about 20-30 minutes additional cooking time for the rice as wild rice takes much longer to cook. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan ??

  88. We had this tonight and it was very good. The lemon zest is a nice addition! I added the broccoli about 10 minutes after the rice started cooking, and it turned out just about right. I also substituted long grain white rice and 1 teaspoon dried thyme, because that was what was on hand!

  89. 5 stars
    I made this two days before actually baking it and it was super yummy! I added a little cracker crumble to the top for some extra crunch. Definitely one we will make again!

  90. 5 stars
    This is my second HBH recipe in 2 weeks since discovering your blog recently. These comforting fall recipes are becoming my go to Sunday dinner inspiration . This dish was easy, turned out delicious and my boyfriend who is a chef and subsequently, is not that easy to impress, said multiple times how much he liked it. Also doesn’t hurt chicken and rice might be my favorite meal of all time. This a good one I will keep in rotation.

  91. 5 stars
    It all comes down to something very simple and clear: your blog is the best cooking blog EVER and there is not ONE SINGLE recipe of yours which isn’t outstanding (i.e., which we don’t feel like making again the next week, and again, and again). I wish I had time to start from your recipe no. 1, cooking them all, one by one. Thank you so much for being here and for all the good things you bring to us!
    (And, yes – this casserole is a hug in a dish.)
    All the best in the world for you!

    1. Wow this is so sweet Sofia!! I am so glad you have loved all of the recipes you have tried, but there are SO many haha! I hope you continue to love them all! xTieghan

  92. 5 stars
    I cook your recipes for my roommate all the time and she said this was “in the top 3 meals” I have ever cooked for her!

    I used coconut milk which I thought turned out amazing! I would definitely stick with the coconut milk next time I make this. I also might add some kale or spinach to it as well to add some extra greens.

    Overall SO YUMMY. Making again soon.

    1. Wow that is s amazing!! I am so glad you have been loving my recipes and it is so sweet you share them with your roommate! Thank you Molly! xTieghan

  93. Would you be able to do this all in a Dutch oven and then also put that in the oven? Instead of transferring it after cooking on the stove top?

    1. Hi Sarah! Yes one pot for sure! That would be fine, I’d just remember to leave it uncovered so you get that delicious topping. Let me know if you have any other questions! X Kelly

  94. 4 stars
    This looks great! I am going to try to make a half recipe because food always goes the waste with our family. Is it possible to cut this in half

    1. Hi Deborah! Yes you could easily half the recipe. Or you can always freeze the leftovers too to have for another day. Let me know if you have any other questions. X Kelly

    1. Hi Kerry! Yes that could be delicious. While Tieghan hasn’t tried it specifically with pork, I think it could be still a great swap. Let us know if you have any other questions. X Kelly

  95. Being a midwest girl at heart , I’m a sucker for a cozy casserole in the fall. This was amazing!!i added I’ll be making this again for sure!




    1. I love to hear that Jenna!! So glad my recipes can be used in many different ways and people have loved them! Thank you! xTieghan

  97. 4 stars
    I accidentally put in too much rice. That was unfortunate. But the taste is great! Want to make again with the correct amount of rice 🙂

  98. 4 stars
    yum! made this tonight but in a smaller dish. I will say it makes ALOT of food haha we will be eating leftovers for days. Didn’t measure my chicken though and it FILLED my casserole dish which was a square not a rectangle. Thanks for the recipe. the lemon was bang on!

  99. 5 stars
    This was sooo good! It didn’t even need the chicken!! I will put it in next time. It was so flavorful with the thyme and the bay leaves. I used Vermont three different cheddars and that just put the dish over the top. This recipe was so good, I immediately bought your cookbook!!

    1. Hey Kelly! I am sure almond milk will work just great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  100. 4 stars
    If 4.5 stars was an option I would give this recipe that rating. It almost feels wrong to only give 4 stars because it is so good & easy, but mine was a little dry and the orzo/rice were not *completely* cooked through. I am at a high elevation (Utah) so maybe that is why? I also had to do some mental math to measure the broth which certainly could contribute to the dryness. Either way, it was damn delicious and not a single serving will go uneaten in this house, haha. Made my kitchen smell like a dream, too. Love that it is a one-pot meal for easy cleanup!

    1. Hey Abby! I don’t think it was your elevation. Did you use the called for amount of broth? What brand/variety of rice are you using? This could have all played a roll in the dryness. Pease let me know if you have any other questions. So glad you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  101. I made this tonight and loved it! I liked that it was easy to do in my le creuset, 1 pot wonder! Thanks for sharing with us!

  102. 3 stars
    Made this last night! Thank you for the recipe, it was good ? Bonus that it was presentable and looked appetizing as well (casseroles don’t always accomplish that). A few notes:
    1) This is just my preference, but the lemon flavor was too intense. I’d lessen or omit it if I made it again.
    2) The remaining 1 c cheese on top didn’t seem like enough. Didn’t notice the flavor or texture of the cheese as much as I hoped to. I’d add more if I made it again.
    3) Strangely, not enough broccoli for my taste when considering the rice to broccoli ratio.
    4) This is not a big deal (easy to adjust), but just a note that the salting instructions didn’t end up being nearly salted enough in the finished dish.. I think it needs more than a “big pinch” once it gets to that step in the recipe.

    1. Hi Val! I am glad you still enjoyed this, but I hope you love it more with your adjustments! Please let me know! xTieghan

  103. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for the hubby who had two helpings. It was easy to make and SO delicious! Plus I am so excited that we have left overs!

    I will make this again, Tieghan you are a food magician!

  104. 5 stars
    I did this for diner this week for my family in law. They all loved it so much that my SIL asked for your blog! My boyfriend ate the leftovers two days in a row.
    I love every recipe, so easy and tasty.

  105. 4 stars
    Made this last night and used canned coconut milk, It gave the dish a nice richness. I froze half of the casserole after preparing through step 3 as there are only two of us and this makes quite a bit. It will be nice to have on hand on a busy night. I also like that the veggies still had some bite to them.

    1. HI! I would recommend following the recipe as directed. I think it will work just fine with your long grain rice. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  106. 5 stars
    DELICIOUS recipe!! Swapped homemade vegetable broth for the chicken broth because that’s what I had on hand and the flavor was amazing. A real keeper for sure, as we head into fall and we crave hearty cozy meals!! Thanks for this one!

    1. Hi Natalie! Sure! to make in an 8×8 inch pan, just cut the recipe directly in half. Follow the directions as listed. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. Hi Karen! Use 2 cups dry quinoa and then follow the recipe as directed. That should work well. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. The leftovers keep for up to 4 days in the fridge. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  107. Which recipe do you like better? This version of the one from last year with the quinoa? Are they basically the same with broccoli, chicken, cheese but with a different taste/texture? They both look delicious and just trying to figure out which one might be best?

    1. Hi Marybeth!! Totally just depends what you are in the mood for. This is my personal favorite, but only because I LOVE rice and broccoli together so very much!! The quinoa is more of a bake and less casserole like. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  108. I made this recipe exactly as written last night for my family. It was the BEST casserole I’ve ever made of its kind. Everyone agreed it was their favorite broccoli cheddar chicken and rice casserole I have made. Love that you included both basmati rice and orzo. Thanks for your hard work and for sharing recipes that are creative, delicious and easy!

  109. I’m also from the Midwest so this recipe caught my eye and It did not disappoint!! My husband couldn’t get enough either- this will definitely be a repeat meal! Thanks Half Baked Harvest!!

  110. 5 stars
    The perfect meal to make when your kids are running in and out at different times to their sports! Thank you for another great recipe!!

  111. 5 stars
    I was surprised by how much my husband and I enjoyed this! The lemon, coconut milk and thyme were so good!! Added extra chicken, carrots and broccoli (hello feeding men) and was grateful for that ratio to the basmati and orzo. This will be so good when it gets colder too- perfect mix of a soup and casserole without being too rich.

  112. Hi this looks delicious! But my sister doesn’t like broccoli is there anything you could sub for that? Cauliflower possibly?

    1. Hey Kate! Yes, cauliflower will be delicious. Great idea! Use an equal amount!! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  113. I made it tonight and it was really good. I was a bit concerned about the soupy creamy texture but we really liked it! I did the whole thing, start to finish, in my Le Creuset pot. It will be great on a cold fall or winter day.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Emily! You can use one or the other, that works great! I would use 2 cups rice or 2 cups orzo. Note that the orzo will cook about 10 minutes faster than the rice. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  114. 5 stars
    I am a teacher and students return tomorrow. I made this as part of my weekly food prep and it is going to be perfect for our busy back to school week. I did a small taste test and it is delicious!

  115. If we want to omit the chicken, that would be fine right? It won’t make it too soupy or take away from the amazingness will it?

    1. Hey Cade! Yes, omitting the chicken is totally fine. It does not affect the chicken in any way, it’s still delicious! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  116. 5 stars
    I am so ready for casserole season! Comfort food makes the cooler weather worth it! I love all things broccoli, cheddar, and rice!! Can’t wait to try this one!!

    1. Hey Maggie! Yes, I like to leave the casserole uncovered while baking. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. Hi Mariah! Brown rice will take about 20-30 minutes of additional cooking time as well as some additional broth, maybe about 1 cup. I think it should work just fine, but please adjust as I have recommended for best results. Let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  117. 5 stars
    This looks so good, I cannot wait to try it! I am excited for fall and all the comfort food to cook, the fire pits in the evening, the changing of leaves, etc…my favorite season of all. Quick question, what kind of rectangular baker do you recommend? All I have is a glass baker, it’s ok, but not the best, would like something better.

    Thanks for all the great recipes you put out daily!